Real Monarchs SLC announced their preseason schedule today with the highlight being a new preseason cup tournament called the Wasatch Winter Cup. The three cup matches will allow each of the three participating USL Championship teams to play the other two. The Monarchs will face Reno on Friday, February 15th, at 7 PM and Colorado Springs on Thursday, February 21st. All matches are scheduled for outdoors in the Zions Bank Stadium weather permitting.
In their other preseason matches the Monarchs will face the RSL Academy on February 8th and Utah Valley University on February 18th at home before traveling to Southern California for a final preseason match against LA Galaxy II on March 2nd.
In addition, an additional signing have also been announced. Ricardo Ávila, a 22-year-old Panamanian who made two appearances for the full National Team during last year’s World Cup in Russia, has joined on loan from CD Universitario. Ricardo, a natural defensive midfielder, started the 2-1 loss against Tunisia and came onto the field as a late substitute in the 6-1 loss against England. He has gone on several short loans to sides in Slovenia and Belgium, but the Monarchs will be his first stop in the United States.
General Manager Dan Egner noted he has been a long term target of the USL side:
“When the opportunity to bring Ricardo in for the season on loan arose, we couldn’t put the pen to paper fast enough. We have been monitoring Ricardo since he was 18, and unfortunately missed out on him when he made the move to Belgium. It’s not every day that you can add a player at his age with recent World Cup experience to your roster. Ricardo has an opportunity to make a big impact with the club, and we believe he will be a key piece in our already strong midfield.”
With the signing of Ávila the USL roster for the Monarchs stands at 15 players as follows:
Defenders: Andrew Brody, James Moberg, Stanley Okumu, Konrad Plewa, Kalen Ryden, Noah Powder (6)
Midfielders: Jack Blake, Maikel Chang, Josh Heard, Masta Kacher, Justin Portillo, Damian German, Ricardo Ávila (7)
Forwards: Lionel Abate Eoundi, Douglas Martínez (2)
it is anticipated that the USL roster will grow to between 16-18 players by the start of the 2019 season and that a number of Real Salt Lake and RSL Academy players will also see time with the team. The official report date for the Monarchs’ preseason is January 31st, however, due to the number of international signings and the governmental slowdowns associated with the shutdown and other immigration measures, the entire roster may not be able report at that time.